E3S Web Conf.
Volume 16, 201711th European Space Power Conference
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Section||Power Generation: Nuclear Power Sources|
|Published online||23 May 2017|
Exploratory Research on Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators for Deep Space Missions
1 European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, PO Box 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe, Germany
2 European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy and Transport, Petten, The Netherlands
To support the development of a Radioisotope Power Source (RPS) for exploration missions into deep space based on 241Am, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has recently launched an exploratory research project, scheduled for a period of two years. It aims at finding innovative solutions for higher performance, safety and reliability of such a device. In addition, it will serve as a start-up platform for this field of research and enable identification of research areas, where JRC can significantly complement and support the already existing activities in Europe. The project is divided into several subtasks and will investigate
safety related properties of americium (oxide) as a heat source,
compatibility of americium compounds with cladding and structural materials,
properties of alternative americium compounds,
properties of advanced thermoelectric materials.
The new exploratory research project will be introduced together with an overview on the available facilities and capabilities of JRC in this domain. Alternative americium forms with potential improved stability versus the oxides are discussed and innovative thermoelectric materials based on actinides are introduced.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.